County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Mayor William Peduto joined Riverlife’s Vivien Li and Lynn Zelevansky of Carnegie Museum of Art to celebrate significant trail upgrades to Allegheny Landing on the North Shore.
The resounding theme of the morning was the importance of public-private partnerships to make these types of riverfront improvements happen.
Located next to PNC Park on the North Shore between the Roberto Clemente and Andy Warhol Bridges, Allegheny Landing was one of the nation’s first riverfront sculpture parks when it was dedicated by Mayor Richard Caliguiri in 1984. After decides of heavier-than-anticipated use as Pittsburgh’s riverfront trail system grew around it, the Landing underwent a phased renovation that began in 2013 guided by a partnership between the City of Pittsburgh, Riverlife, Carnegie Museum of Art and Friends of Allegheny Landing.
Improvements made since 2013 include the renovation of the landing’s boat dock, and the relocation and restoration of artist Ned Smyth’s Piazza Lavoro mosaic and sculpture. Completed last fall with finishing touches installed this spring, the new riverfront trail and landscape improvements were celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony timed to coincide with today’s Bike to Work Day.
Downtown workers, residents and trail users in attendance wore outfits ranging from business suits to athletic gear and sneakers. Event organizer Riverlife encouraged attendees in advance to “show their shoes” as an indicator that they biked, walked or jogged to the celebration.
The latest phase of Allegheny Landing renovation included new paving and materials for the Landing’s riverfront trail, restoration of the flag pole, and the addition of new seating, lighting, a rain garden, and new plantings.
“The improvements to Allegheny Landing that you see around you are the result of many people coming together to restore one of Pittsburgh’s first riverfront parks, created at a time when there were very few places to go to the water for recreation, relaxation and art,” said Vivien Li, Riverlife President and CEO. “Congratulations to the partners who saw the value in bringing this park back to life and were relentless in that pursuit.”
“Caring for art takes time, care, and expertise, not to mention money,” said Ms. Zelevansky. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring these works back to their former glory, and look forward to the next phase of the Allegheny Landing restoration, when we will work on the George Sugarman sculpture [Pittsburgh Variations].” Carnegie Museum of Art oversaw the restoration of the Ned Smythe piece in 2015. A. Folino Construction oversaw the 2016-2017 construction of Allegheny Landing’s riverfront trail and landscaping. LaQuatra Bonci Associates oversaw the landscape architecture design for the renovation.
For a full listing of funders and partners, please visit the Allegheny Landing project page.